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Devour the grazing ox, and browzing goat, 620 Till now, declining toward the close of day,
ARGUMENT "So may these impious fall, by Fate opprest !"
The Fight of Ulysses and Irus. Then to Eumæus: Bring the stranger, fly!
The beggar Irus insults Ulysses: the suitors promote And if my questions meet a true reply,
the quarrel, in which Irus is worsted, and miserably Graced with a decent robe he shall retire, 630 handled. Penelope descends, and receives the presents A gift in season which his wants require.
of the suitors. The dialogue of Ulysses with Eury. Thus spoke Penelope. Eumæus flies
A mendicant approach'd the royal gate;
The stain of manhood, of a coward mind. of decent robes a present has design'd:
From seast to feast, insatiate to devour So finding favour in the royal eye,
640 He flew, attendant on the genial hour
Fair truth alone (the patient man replied) She named Arnaus on his natal day;
10 In equal woes, alas! involved by heaven.
Irus, a name expressive of the employ.
He strove to drive the man of mighty woes.
Lest dragg’d in vengeance thou repent thy stay; Let for a space the pensive queen attend, 650 See how with nods assent you princely train! Nor claim my story till the sun descend;
But honouring age, in mercy [ refrain ; Then in such robes as suppliants may require, In peace away! lest, if persuasions fail, Composed and cheerful by the genial fire,
This arm with blows more eloquent prevail. When loud uproar and lawless riot cease,
To whom, with stern regard : O insolence, 20 Sball her pleased ear receive my words in peace. Indecently to rail without offence!
Swift to the queen returns the gentle swain : What bounty gives without a rival share ; And say, (she cries,) does fear, or shame, detain I ask, what harms not thee, to breathe this air ; The cautious stranger? With the begging kind Alike on alms we both precarious live; Shame suits but ill. Eumæus thus rejoin'd: And canst thou envy when the great relieve ?
He only asks a more propitious hour, 660 Know, from the beauteous heavens all riches flow, And shuns (who would not ?) wicked men in And what man gives, the gods by man bestow; power;
Proud as thou art, henceforth no more be proud, At evening mild (meet season to confer)
Lest I imprint my vengeance in thy blood; By turns to question, and by turns to hear.
Old as I am, should once my fury burn,
30 Whoe'er this guest (the prudent queen replies) How wouldst thou fly, nor even in thought return! His every step and every thought is wise ;
Mere woman-glutton! (thus the churl replied ;) For men like these on earth he shall not find A tongue so flippant, with a throat so wide! In all the miscreant race of human kind.
Why cease I, gods ! to dash those teeth away, Thus she. Eumæus all her words attends,
Like some vile boar's, that greedy of his prey And, parting, to the suitor powers descends; Uproots the bearded corn ? Rise, try the fight, There seeks Telemachus, and thus apart 670 Gird well thy loius, approach, and feel my might; In whispers breathes the fondness of his heart. Sure of defeat, before the peers engage; The time, my lord, invites me to repair
Unequal fight, when youth contends with age ! Hence to the lodge; my charge demands my care, Thus in a wordy war their tongues display These sons of murder thirst thy life to take; More fierce intents, preluding to the fray; 40 O guard it, guard it, for thy servant's sake!
Antinoüs hears, and in a jovial vein, Thanks to my friend, he cries; but now the hour Thus with loud laughter to the suitor-train. Of night draws on, go seek the rural bower ;
This happy day in mirth, my friends, employ, But first refresh : and at the dawn of day
And lo! the gods conspire to crown our joy. Hither a victim to the gods convey.
See ready for the fight, and hand to hand, Our life to heaven's immortal powers we trust, 680 Yon surly mendicants contentious stand : Safe in their care, for heaven protects the just. Why urge we not to blows? Well pleased they spring Observant of his voice, Eumæus sate
Swift from their seats, and thickening form a ring. And fed recumbent on a chair of state.
To whom Antinous. Lo! enrich'd with blood, Then instant rose, and as he moved along,
A kid's well-fatted entrails (tasteful food) 'Twas riot all amid the suitor throng.
On glowing embers lie; on him bestow
50 They feast, they dance, and raise the mirthful song, The choicest portion who subdues his foe;
Grant him unrivall'd in these walls to stay,
Then dragg'd along, all bleeding from the wound, The sole attendant on the genial day.
His length of carcase trailing prints the ground; 121 The lords applaud : Ulysses then with art, Raised on his feet, again he reels, he falls, And fears well feign'd, disguised his dauntless heart: Till propp'd, reclining on the palace walls ;
Worn as I am with age, decay'd with woe; Then to his hand a staff the victor gave, Say, is it baseness to decline the foe?
And thus with just reproach address'd the slave. Hard conflict ! when calamity and age
60 There terrible, affright the dogs, and reign With vigorous youth, unknown to cares, engage! A dreaded tyrant o'er the bestial train! Yet, fearful of disgrace, to try the day,
But mercy to the poor and stranger show, Imperious hunger bids, and I obey;
Lest heaven in vengeance send some mightier woe. But swear, impartial arbiters of right,
Scornful he spoke, and o'er his shoulder flung 130 Swear to stand neutral, while we cope in fight. The broad patch'd scrip; the scrip in tatters hung,
The peers assent; when straight his sacred head III join'd, and knotted to a twisted thong. Telemachus upraised, and sternly said:
Then, turning short, disdain'd a further stay; Stranger, if prompted to chastise the wrong But to the palace measured back the way. Of this bold insolent, confide, be strong ?
There as he rested, gathering in a ring, The injurious Greek that dares attempt a blow, 70 The peers with smiles addrest their unknown king: That instant makes Telemachus his foe;
Stranger, may Jove and all the aërial powers, And these my friends* shall guard the sacred ties With every blessing crown thy happy hours ! Of hospitality, for they are wise.
Our freedom to thy prowess'd arm we owe Then, girding his strong loins, the king prepares From bold intrusivn of thy coward foe; 140 To close in combat, and his body bares:
Instant the flying sail the slave shall wing Broad spread his shoulders, and his nervous thighs To Echetus, the monster of a king. By just degrees, like well-turn'd columns, rise ; While pleased he hears, Antinous bears the Ample his chest, his arms are round and long,
And oh! (he mildly cries) may heaven display
O that such baseness should disgrace the light! 90 Nor from the sire art thou, the son, declined; O hide it death, in everlasting night!
Then hear my words, and grave them in thy mind! (Exclaims Antinous ;) can a vigorous foe
of all that breathes, or grov'ling creeps on earth, Meanly decline to combat age and woe?
Most man is vain! calamitous by birth : But hear me, wretch! if recreant in the fray To-day, with power elate, in strength he blooms ; That huge bulk yield this ill-contested day, The haughty creature on that power presumes: 160 Instant thou sail'st lo Echetus resign'd;
Anon from heaven a sad reverse he feels; A tyrant, fiercest of the tyrant kind,
Untaught to bear, 'gainst heaven the wretch rebels ; Who casts thy mangled ears and nose a prey For man is changeful, as his bliss or woe; To hungry dogs, and lops the man away.
Too high when prosperous, when distrest too low. While with indignant scorn he sternly spoke, 100 There was a day, when with the scornful great In every joint the trembling Irus shook.
I swell'd in pomp and arrogance of state : Now front to front each frowning champion stands, Proud of that power that to high birth belongs; And poises high in air his adverse hands.
And used that power to justify my wrongs. The chief yet doubts, or to the shades below Then let not man be proud; but firm of mind, To fell the giant at one vengeful blow,
Bear the best humbly, and the worst resign'd; 170 Or save his life ; and soon his life to save
Be dumb when heaven afflicts ! unlike yon train 'The king resolves, for mercy sways the brave. Of haughty spoilers, insolently vain ; That instant Irus, his huge arm extends,
Who make their queen and all her wealth a prey: Full on his shoulders the rude weight descends; But vengeance and Ulysses wing their way. The sage Ulysses, fearful to disclose
1100 may'st thou, favour'd by some guardian power, The hero latent in the man of woes,
Far, far be distant in that deathful hour!
The peers transported, as outstretch'd he lies, His boding mind the future woe forestalls,
For Pallas seals his doom: all sad he turns
To join the peers; resumes his throne, and mourns,
Meanwhile Minerva with instinctive fires
Oh why, my son, why now no more appears Thy soul, Penelope, from heaven inspires,
That warmth of soul that urged thy younger years ? With flattering hopes the suitors to betray,
Thy riper days no growing worth impart, And seem to meet, yet fly, the bridal day; 190 | A man in stature, still a boy in heart ! Thy husband's wonder, and thy son's to raise; Thy well-knit frame unprofitably strong, And crown the mother and the wife with praise. Speaks thee a hero, from a hero sprung: 260 Then, while the streaming sorrow dins her eyes, But the just gods in vain those gifts bestow, Thus with a transient smile the matron cries : O wise alone in form, and brave in show! Euronymè! to go where riot reigns
Heavens! could a stranger feel oppression's hand I feel an impulse, though my soul disdains ; Beneath thy roof, and couldst thou tamely stand ? To my loved son the snares of death to show, If thou the stranger's righteous cause decline, And in the traitor-friend unmask the foe;
His is the sufferance, but the shame is thine. Who, smooth of tongue, in purpose insincere,
To whom with filial awe, the prince returns : Hides fraud in smiles, while death is ambush'd there. That generous soul with just reseniment burns ;
Go, warn thy son, nor be the warning vain, 201 Yet taught by time, my heart has learn'd to glow (Replied the sagest of the royal train :)
For others' good and melt at others' woe; 270 But bathed, anointed, and adorn'd, descend ; But impotent these riots to repel, Powerful of charms, bid every grace attend I bear their outrage, though my soul rebel ; The tide of flowing tears awhile suppress;
Helpless amid the snares of death I tread, Tears but indulge the sorrow, not repress.
And numbers leagued in impious union dread Some joy remains : to thee a son is given,
But now no crimne is theirs : this wrong proceeds Such, as in fondness, parents ask of heaven. From Irus, and the guilty Irus bleeds.
Ah me! forbear, returns the queen, forbear, O would to Jove! or her whose arms display Oh! talk not, talk not of vain beauty's care : 210 The shield of Jove, or him who rules the day No more I bathe, since he no longer sees
That yon proud suitors, who licentious tread Those charms, for whom alone I wish to please : These courts, within these courts like Irus bled: 280 The day that bore Ulysses from this coast,
Whose loose head tottering, as with wine opprest, Blasted the little bloomn these cheeks could boast.
Obliquely drops, and nodding knocks his breast; But instant bid Autonoë descend,
Powerless to move, his staggering feet deny Instant Hippodamè our steps attend;
The coward wretch the privilege to fly. Ill suits it female virtue, to be seen
Then to the queen Eurymachus replies : Alone, indecent, in the walks of men.
O justly loved, and not more fair than wise ! Then while Euronymè the mandate bears, Should Greece through all her hundred states survey, From heaven Minerva shoots with guardian cares : Thy finish'd charms, all Greece would own thy sway: O'er all her senses, as the couch she prest, 221 In rival crowds, contest the glorious prize, She pours a pleasing, deep, and death-like rest, Dispeopling realms to gaze upon thy eyes : 290 With every beauty every feature arms,
O woman! loveliest of the lovely kind, Bids her cheeks glow, and lights up all her charms, In body perfect, and complete in mind. In her love-darting eyes awake the fires
Ah me, returns the queen, when frora this shore (Immortal gifts! to kindle soft desires :)
Ulysses sail'd, then beauty was no more! From limb to limb an air majestic sheds,
The gods decreed these eyes no more should keep And the pure ivory o'er her bosom spreads. Their wonted grace, but only serve to weep. Such Venus shines, when with a measured bound Should he return whate'er my beauties prove, She smoothly gliding swims the harmonious round, My virtues last ; my brightest charm is love. When with the Graces in the dance she moves, 231 Now, grief, thou all art mine! the gods o'ercast And fires the gazing gods with ardent loves. My soul with woes, that long, ah long must last! 300
Then to the skies her flight Minerva bends, Too faithfully my heart retains the day And to the queen the damsel train descends : That sadly tore my royal lord away: Waked at their steps, her flowing eyes unclose; He grasp'd my hand, and, oh my spouse! I leave The tear she wipes, and thus renews her woes. Thy arms (he cried,) perhaps to find a grave: Howe'er 'tis well; that sleep awhile can free Fame speaks the Trojans bold; they boast the skill With soft forgetfulness, a wretch like me!
To give the feather'd arrow wings to kill, Oh! were it given to yield this transient breath, To dart the spear, and guide the rushing car Send, oh Diana ! send the sleep of death! 240 With dreadful inroad through the walks of war. Why must I waste a tedious life in tears,
My sentence is gone forth, and 'tis decreed Nor bury in the silent grave my cares ?
Perhaps by righteous heaven that I must bleed! 310 O my Ulysses ! ever-honour'd name!
My father, mother, all I trust to thee;
Thus wailing, slow and sadly she descends, But, when my son grows man, the royal sway
Resign, and happy be thy bridal day! Full where the dome its shining valves expands, Such were his words; and Hymen now prepares Radiant before the gazing peers she stands ; To light his torch, and give me up to cares; A veil translucent o'er her brow display'd,
The afflictive hand of wrathful Jove to bear : Her beauty seems, and only seems to shade. A wretch the most complete that breathes the air ! Sudden she lightens in their dazzled eyes,
Fall'n even below the rights to woman due! And sudden flames in every bosom rise;
Careless to please, with insolence ye woo! 320 They send their eager souls with every look, The generous lovers studious to succeed, Till silence thus the imperial matron broke : Bid their whole herds and flocks in banquets bleed;
By precious gifts the yow sincere display:
Then to the servile task the monarch turns You, only you, make her ye love your prey. His royal hands : each torch refulgent burns
Well-pleased Ulysses hears his queen deceive With added day: mean while in museful mood, The suitor-train, and raise a thirst to give : Absorpt in thought, on vengeance fix'd he stood. False hopes she kindles, but those hopes betray, And now the martial maid, by deeper wrongs And promise, yet elude, the bridal day.
To rouse Ulysses points the suitor's tongues :
Hear me (he cries,) confederates and friends!
The peers despatch'd their heralds to convey Then to the king that levell d haughty Troy: The gifts of love; with speed they take the way. Say, if large hire can tempt thee to employ A robe Antinoüs gives of shining dyes,
Those hands in work; to tend the rural trade, The varying hues in gay confusion rise
To dress the walk, and form the embowering shade! Rich from the artist's hand! Twelve clasps of gold So food and raiment constant will I give : Close to the lessening waist the vest infold ; 340 But idly thus thy soul prefers to live, Down from the swelling loins the vest unbound And starve by strolling, not by work to thrive. Floats in bright waves redundant o'er the ground. To whom incensed : Should we, O prince, engage A bracelet rich with gold, with amber gay,
In rival tasks beneath the burning rage
410 That shot effulgence like the solar ray,
Of summer suns; were both constrain'd to wield Eurymachus presents ; and ear-rings bright, Foodless the scythe along the burden'd feld; With triple stars, that cast a trembling light. Or should we labour while the ploughshare wounds, Pisander bears a necklace wrought with art: With steers of equal strength, the allotted grounds; And every peer, expressive of his heart,
Beneath my tabours, how thy wondering eyes A gift bestows: this done, the queen ascends, Might see the sable field at once arise ! And slow behind her damsel train attends. 350 Should Jove dire war unloose, with spear and Then to the dance they form the vocal strain,
shield, Till Hesperus leads forth the starry train ;
And nodding helm, I tread the ensanguined field, And now he raises, as the day-light fades,
Fierce in the van: then wouldst thou,--say,His golden circlet in the deepening shades : Misname me glolton, in that glorious day? Three vases heap'd with copious fires display No, thy ill-judging thoughts the brave disgrace ; O'er all the palace a fictitious day;
'Tis thou injurious art, not I am base: From space to space the torch wide-beaming burns, Proud to seem brave among a coward train ! And sprightly damsels trim the rays by turns. But know, thou art not valorous, but vain.
To whom the king: Il suits your sex to stay Gods! should the stern Ulysses rise in might, Alone with men ! ye modest maids away! 360 These gates would seem too narrow for thy flight. Go, with the queen the spindle guide ; or cull While yet he speaks, Eurymachus replies, (The partners of her cares) the silver wool; With indignation flashing from his eyes: Be it my task the torches to supply
Slave, I with justice might deserve the wrong, 430 Even till the morning lamp adorns the sky; Should I not punish that opprobrious tongue Even till the morning, with unwearied care, Irreverent to the great, and uncontrollid, Sleepless I watch; for I have learn'd to bear. Art thou from wine, or innate folly, bold ?
Scornful they heard : Melantho, fair and young, Perhaps, these outrages from Irus flow, (Melantho from the Joins of Dolius sprung, A worthless triumph o'er a worthless foe! Who with the queen her years an infant led,
He said : and with full force a footstool threw : With the soft fondness of a daughter bred) 370 Whirl'd from his arm, with erring rage it flew; Chiefly derides ; regardless of the cares
Ulysses cautious of the vengeful foe, Her queen endures, polluted joys she shares Stoops to the ground and disappoints the blow. Nocturnal with Eurymachus : with eyes
Not so a youth who deals the goblet round, That speak disdain, the wanton thus replies : Full on his shoulder it inflicts a wound,
Oh! wbither wanders thy distemper'd brain, Dash'd from his hand the sounding goblet flies, Thou bold intruder on a princely train ?
He shrieks, he reels, he falls, and breathless lies. Hence to the vagrant's rendezvous repair : Then wild uproar and clamour mount the sky, Or shun in some black forge the midnight air. Till mutual thus the peers indignant cry; Proceeds this boldness from a turn of soul, O had this stranger sunk to realms beneath, Or flows licentious from the copious bowl? 380 To the black realms of darkness and of death, Is it that vanquish'd Irus swells thy mind? Ere yet he trod these shores ! to strife he draws A foe may meet thee of a braver kind,
Peer against peer; and what the weighty cause? Who, shortening with a storm of blows thy stay, A vagabond ! for him the great destroy Shall send thee howling all in blood away! In vile ignoble jars, the feast of joy?
To whom with frowns: O impudent in wrong! To whom the stern Telemachus uprose; Thy lord shall curb that insolence of tongue; Gods ! what wild folly from the goblet flows ! Know, to Telemachus I tell the offence;
Whence this unguarded openness of soul, The scourge, the scourge shall lash thee into sense. But from the licence of the copious bowl?
With conscious shame they hear the stern rebuke, Or heaven delusion sends : but hence, away! Nor longer durst sustain the sovereign look. 390| Force I forbear, and without force obey.
Silent, abash'd, they hear the stern rebuke,
He said; from female ken she strait secures Till thus Amphinomus the silence broke.
The purposed deed, and guards the bolted doors: True are his words, and he whom truth offends, Auxiliar to his son, Ulysses bears Not with Telemachus, but truth contends; 461 The plumy-crested helms and pointed spears, Let not the hand of violence invade
With shields indented deep in glorious wars. The reverend stranger, or the spotless maid ; Minerva viewless on her charge attends, Retire we hence! but crown with rosy wine And with her golden lamp his toil befriends. The flowing goblet to the powers divine !
Not such the sickly beams, which unsincere 40
A present deity the prince confess'd,
What miracle thus dazzles with surprise!
Some visitant of pure ethereal race,
Be calm, replies the sire; to pone impart, 50
But oft revolve the vision in thy heart :
Celestials, mantled in excess of light,
Can visit, unapproach'd by mortal sight.
Seek thou repose; whilst here I sole remain mory. Ulysses in conversation with Penelope, gives To explore the conduct of the female train : a fictitious account of his adventures; then assures The pensive queen, perchance, desires to know her he had formerly entertained her husband in The series of my toils, to soothe her woe. Crete; and describes exactly his person and dress, With tapers flaming day his train attends, affirms to have heard of him in Phæacia and Thes. His bright alcove the obsequious youth ascends : protia, and that his return is certain, and within a Soft slumberous shades his drooping eyelids close, 60 inonth. He then goes to bathe, and is attended by Till on her eastern shade Aurora glows. Euryclea, who discovers him to be Ulysses by the scar
While forming plans of death, Ulysses stay'd, upon his leg, which he formerly received in hunting the wild boar on Parnassus. The poet inserts a di. In council secret with the martial maid; gression, relating that accident, with all its particulars. Attendant nymphs in beauteous order wait
The queen, descending from her bower of state.
Her cheeks the warmer blush of Venus wear,
Chasten'd with coy Diana's pensive air.
By famed Icmalius wrought, the menials placed : Revenge mature for act, inflamed his breast; With ivory silver'd thick the footstool shone, 70 And thus the son the fervent sire addrest.
O'er which the panther's various hide was thrown Instant convey those steely stores of war The sovereign seat with graceful air she press'd; To distant rooms, disposed with secret care : To different tasks their toil the nymphs address'd The cause demanded by the suitor train,
The golden goblets some, and some restored To soothe their fears a specious reason feign : From stains of luxury the polish'd board : Say, since Ulysses left his natal coast,
These to remove the expiring embers came, Obscene with smoke, their beamy lustre lost, 10 While those with unctuous fir foment the flame. His arms deform the roof they wont adorn;
'Twas then Melantho with imperious mien From the glad walls inglorious lumber torn. Renew'd the attack, incontinent of spleen: Suggest that Jove the peaceful thought inspired, Avaunt, she cried, offensive to my sight! 80 Lest they by sight of swords to fury fired,
Deem not in ambush here to lurk by night, Dishonest wounds or violence of soul,
Into the woman state a squint to pry; Defame the bridal feast and friendly bowl. A day-devourer, and an evening spy!
The prince obedient to the sage command, Vagrant, begone! before this blazing brand To Euryclea thus : The female band
Shall urge—and waved it hissing in her hand. In their apartments keep; secure the doors;
The insulted hero rolls his wrathful eyes, These swarthy arms among the covert stores 20 And, why so turbulent of soul ? he cries; Are seemlier hid ; my thoughtless youth they blame, Can these lean shrivel'd limbs unnerved with age, Imbrown'd with vapour of the smouldering flaine. These poor but nonest rags enkindle rage ? In happy hour, (pleased Euryclea cries,)
In crowds we wear the badge of hungry fate; 90 Tutor'd by early woes, grow early wise !
And beg, degraded from superior state ! Inspect with sharpen'd sight and frugal care, Constrain'd a rent-charge on the rich I live! Your patrimonial wealth, a prudent heir;
Reduced to crave the good I once could give : But who the lighted taper will provide
A palace, wealth and slaves, I late possess'd, (The female train retired) your toils to guide ? And all that makes the great be call'd the bless'd; Without infringing hospitable right,
My gate an emblem of my open soul, This guest (he cried) shall bear the guiding light: 30 Embraced the poor, and dealt a bounteous dole. I cheer no lazy vagrants with repast;
Scorn not the sad reverse, injurious maid ! They share the meal that earn it e'er they taste. l'Tis Jove's high will, and be his well obey'd!